Libreture's list of DRM-free Bookshops exists to help you find great independent publishers, booksellers and authors, and ultimately, the amazing books they've created. It all started on my personal website in 2013, and now includes almost 200 shops.
Made up of publishers and individual authors selling e-books direct, as well as full-blown digital bookshops, the DRM-free Bookshop list is a great place to start when you want to find something a little different. Something you may not find promoted by the large bookshops.
To help you discover your next favourite book, we compile monthly Top Ten lists to see which shops our visitors went off to explore. Let's take a look at what was popular over the last month.
Added 9th of July, 2019
Based in Portland, OR, USA, Groupees transforms the distribution of digital media entertainment into a fun, social and exciting experience.
Added 27th of August, 2019
Striving to be the Guillermo del Toro of the indie publishing world, The Parliament House was founded by Shayne Leighton, and curates fantasy and sci-fi of every scope with a specific taste for the weird, dark, and quirky.
Added 12th of June, 2019
The on-going mission of Luna Station Quarterly is to display the vast and varied talents of female-identified speculative fiction writers.
Added 3rd of June, 2019
Founded in March 2014, Old Computr is a wonderful collection of articles and photographs of retro computers.
Added 15th of July, 2017
The Internet Archive offers over 12,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts.
Added 31st of July, 2019
Indie Press Revolution (IPR) is a network of creator-publishers devoted to bringing you the latest innovations in tabletop roleplaying and story games.
Added 30th of April, 2019
Red Sun is a quarterly science fiction, fantasy and horror magazine.
Added 9th of March, 2019
eManga is Digital Manga, Inc.'s own one stop online shop for manga, originally established back in 2008.
Added 16th of January, 2019
Fox Spirit is a small UK press who believe that day to day life lacks a few things.
Added 9th of March, 2019
Less Than Three Press is a strong rising presence in the LGBTQ romance community.
It's great to see a new addition to the DRM-free Bookshop List appear in the Top Ten links so soon after being added. Parliament House Press looks like an interesting shop, and one to keep an eye on.
What I find really interesting with these regular lists is how they sometimes match the general outlinks on Libreture, the links from individual book pages to the shops that stock them. For example, this month there are quite a few bookshops that are just as popular in the Bookshop list as are the links to them from the individual book pages in readers' libraries. But the top bookshop outlink on Libreture doesn't currently appear in the bookshop list at all. All the links to it come from the individual book pages.
Ylva Publishing is a digital only (e-book and audiobook) lesbian romance publisher. They seem very well respected in the romance publishing community and their books are extremely popular. A number of Libreture readers love their stories. External searches for their titles are regularly directed to Libreture reader libraries, as well as being popular internal search terms on the site. Unfortunately, not everyone looking for their books is interested in visiting their online shop and buying a copy.
Some of the terms for Ylva titles that people are searching by are very telling. They sometimes include phrases like 'free' or 'PDF' or 'free epub' or 'download'. These are not really search terms you would use when looking for somewhere to buy the books. These are people trying to download an illegal copy.
I use the word 'illegal', rather than 'pirated' to emphasise that this is theft. 'Piracy' is a far too romanticised term for the activity of stealing a book, and softens the perceived impact it has.
DRM is a technological approach to lock digital content to only work on certain devices or for a certain period. Rather than do this, DRM-free bookshops and publishers trust their customers with an unencumbered copy of their book in the knowledge that to add DRM to it only negatively impacts the person who actually bought a legitimate copy. DRM is trivial to remove for those who want to pirate books. Heck, many readers who end up legitimately buying e-books with DRM applied sometimes remove the DRM so they can enjoy their purchases properly.
This is why seeing so many people trying to find illegal copies of Ylva Publishing's books is so disheartening - they are available to buy, in multiple formats, DRM-free, at a reasonable price (compared to print books) direct from the publisher. The list of excuses runs out pretty quickly.
To ensure we e-book readers continue to benefit from the excellent authors, publishers and bookshops who sell e-books without DRM, we readers must continue to buy from them. And we must push back against illegal e-books wherever we see them. We must also ensure we fully understand the remaining reason that a proportion of readers give as to why they download illegal copies of e-books - international pricing. This is something that smaller independent publishers with global rights are better placed to address, and is something that I need to research more.
In the meantime, find your next favourite read at one of the amazing bookshops that do their best to support e-book readers.
You can find more great shops in the full list of DRM-free Bookshops.